Essay on The Hero 's Journey By Joseph Campbell

1076 Words Nov 23rd, 2015 5 Pages
In almost every story since the beginning of human history, storytellers used certain tried and true characterization methods essential to any story: archetypes. Carl Jung first identified these universal archetypes and tropes prevalent in almost every story since The Odyssey. Jung believed that these archetypes existed in the psyches of human beings, which explains why people recognize archetypes so easily when hearing/reading a work of literature. However, as time went on, people noticed these archetypes and fictional works started to look indistinguishably similar. Evident through the archetypal storyline of the “Hero’s Journey”, Joseph Campbell deems that usually all ends well for the primary protagonist. The story of King Lear is an old English tale wherein a king loses his power and then reclaims it by the end. Shakespeare decided to take this old tale and turn it into a tragedy, having Lear die with nothing by the end. So how can a writer create a truly original work without using the exact same archetypes so many other authors have used? The answer, he or she uses the archetypal characters and storylines in ways that people have never seen them used before, as Shakespeare did in the 15th century when he remodeled a classic history into the play King Lear. In the Tragedy of King Lear, Shakespeare creates characters that fit archetypal molds but who also, as the story progresses, break those molds to reveal more complex layers that ultimately make them more relatable,…

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